In front of a room full of the state’s political heavyweights in Tallahassee last week, John Morgan’s words describing the motives behind his staunch support of the movement to legalize medical marijuana in Florida rang loud and clear.
“I know it works because I have seen it,” Morgan told members of the Capital Tiger Bay Club about the pain-reducing powers of medical cannabis. “Are we going to do what’s right, or are we going to get hung up on the word ‘drug?’”
As Florida’s 2014 general election inches closer, speculation among those who oppose the push to legalize medical cannabis for use by the state’s seriously ill has been percolating, with some detractors suggesting Morgan backs House Bill 1139 purely to boost the yet-to-be-named Democratic candidate’s chances of being elected governor. To the naysayers—and to those who fear Florida will turn into California, a state still sorting out the societal and legal ramifications of legalized medical cannabis— Morgan offered some strong words of reassurance.
“This would be what I would call the opposite of California,” Morgan said definitively. “This is not a wink and a smile and psychologists prescribing marijuana. It’s much more regulated and it’s really for the terminally ill and chronically ill, not for somebody that’s having a bad hair day.”
During his speech, Morgan referenced to his familial experiences that have helped shape his outgoing support of the legalization of medical marijuana in Florida, telling his audience that he’s witnessed firsthand just how much the plant can help.
“There is no drug in America that cures the nausea from chemotherapy,” Morgan said when referring to the symptoms his father experienced as he battled emphysema and cancer. “They say there is, but there’s not.”
His father, “the most anti-drug guy in the world,” Morgan recalled, benefitted greatly from medicinal marijuana, a drug that afforded him the ability to “sit at the table and have a meal and a conversation.”
The overall theme of Morgan’s speech encompassed pushing aside any contrived political motives suggested by his peers as well as convincing medical marijuana opponents that legalizing the prescription of the plant as treatment for debilitating diseases will not lead to widespread drug use.
In comparing medical cannabis to other, more commonplace forms of treatment, such as issuing chemotherapy patients dangerous habit-forming drugs such as Oxycontin, Morgan made it clear that marijuana is nothing like the doctor-prescribed “poison” that causes thousands of Floridians to overdose and die every year.
“Ever hear of anybody overdosing on marijuana,” Morgan asked?